Delaying a Legacy System Upgrade? You’re Not Alone

Server cabinets in a row

Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2018

The issue of legacy IT won’t go away. Businesses claim that their legacy systems create serious operational problems, and when pushed, CTOs regularly state their intention to replace these legacy systems in the near future. 

The reality, though, is that most don’t. Many banks are still fully reliant on mainframe platforms to provide back-end payment processing, for instance, and some of these systems have been in place since the 1970s and 1980s.

Modernise not replace

The cost of replacing legacy systems is huge, particularly after decades of investment by the owner. The choice to modernise rather than replace old mainframes and storage makes good financial sense, which is why 37% of owners say they will upgrade rather than replace old systems. Less than half are planning a replacement program.

A risk – and how to manage it

These legacy systems continue to deliver value, but they also carry a risk. Most legacy systems no longer receive software patches or updates from the OEM, creating a potential security risk.

It is important to note that these risks are manageable, particularly where legacy storage is reserved for archive roles. As Vijay Samtani, a manager in Deloitte’s security and privacy services said,

Users of legacy operating systems do have to confront the fact that they will not have security patches delivered to them. So, to go alongside their patching strategy, they need to develop a strategy to manage the risks of having unpatched software in their enterprise.”

Your OEM account manager will never admit it, but there are benefits to retaining post-warranty hardware. Old operating systems and firmware are actually less vulnerable to many modern cybersecurity attacks like viruses and ransomware.

You will need help

As your vendor washes their hands of post-warranty systems, you will need help. CDS can assist by providing comprehensive, timely support and maintenance for your systems, and with a multi-million dollar global parts network, we also have the spares you need to keep legacy systems in play.

So before you give in to the next hard sell from your storage account manager, just remember that many other CTOs are still choosing to prolong the lifespan of their legacy systems. Why? Because it’s a strategy that works.

To learn more about legacy mainframe hardware support, please get in touch.

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